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Paul Villard - A Bouquet for Miss Benson(Excerpt) 汉译

2014-07-02    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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A Bouquet for Miss Benson(Excerpt)

Paul Villard

Miss Benson was the kindest, sweetest, most beautiful creature that ever walked the earth. She was my second-grade teacher, and I was going to marry her when I grew up—if she would wait. I would sit squirming in my seat for the entire morning to keep from raising my hand. I could not bear to miss one precious moment of her presence by leaving the room.

My hand was always the first to be raised, however, when Miss Benson called for volunteers to clean the blackboards or to gather papers and bring them to her desk. That was the best chore of all. It made possible getting near enough to her to close out the others in the classroom. I would arrange and rearrange the papers. They had to be in perfect order before I would make my reluctant way back to my seat.

Early in the term, I started pestering my mother to put an extra apple or peach in my lunch. I never quite worked up the courage to say it was for my teacher, as I never quite worked up the courage to hand my offering to Miss Benson directly. Each day the delicacy found its way unobserved to the corner of her desk. And each day the response was the same.

Miss Benson would come in and sit down. “Good morning, children.”

“Good morning, Miss Benson,” in unison.

“Why, how nice!” She would pick up the offering of the day, then look around the room. “What thoughtful little boy or girl brought me this?”

No one claimed the honor, least of all me. I kept my head down, looking at my desk.

“Can it be that I have a secret admirer?” she would ask.

I would feel the red rising in my face. I was certain that everyone was looking at me, and I would sigh with when Miss Benson put the fruit away and started the lesson.

One fall morning, the class was abuzz with excitement. Someone had discovered that the next day, Friday, was Miss Benson’s birthday. Everyone wanted to get her a present. My heart gave a leap, at last I could give her something openly. That afternoon was spent combing the fields for wild flowers. Not many were in bloom at that time of year, but I found several kinds of bright berries on shrubs, some dry thistle heads. And finally I came upon a patch of gorgeous crimson leaves…

In the morning I hung back as others presented their gifts. Finally I went to the desk and gave the bouquet to Miss Benson. She exclaimed with pleasure as she took it, and held it to her cheek for a moment. My reward was a smile and a pat on the head.

The next Monday, Miss Benson was not in class. About the middle of the morning, I was asked to go to the principal’s office. When I arrived, I was surprised to see my mother. On a table was my bouquet.

“Do you know where Miss Benson is today?” the principal asked.
“No, sir,” I answered.

“Miss Benson,” he said, slowly and clearly. “is in the hospital, and you sent her there!”

I sat, stricken, in my chair.

“Do you know what you gave her?” he continued.

I nodded. “Berries, thistles and pretty red leaves,” I listed.
“Those pretty red leaves’ are poison ivy, young man.” (Poison ivy is a kind of sumac which can cause a severe skin rash if touched) His voice was filling with anger. “How did you protect yourself when you picked them? Gloves?” I shook my head. “Honest, I didn’t know they were poison ivy.” I started to cry.

The principal stood up. “Paul, I am suspending you for ten days. What happens after that depends upon your behavior when you return.”

When I went back, Mother was sitting in her rocker, she held out her arms, and I sat in her lap while she rocked me for a new minutes. “Let’s have a party!” she exclaimed finally. “What would you like to do the very most?” “I’d like to go see Miss Benson,” I replied.

Miss Benson was sitting up in bed when we arrived. Her face was covered with bandages. Only one eye was showing. Both of her hands were swathed as well.

“I didn’t know they were poison ivy,” I blurted out. “I didn’t mean to make you sick. I only wanted to give you something…” I stopped talking and swallowed hard.

Miss Benson’s one eye studied me. “You wanted to give me something special, didn’t you Paul?” I nodded.

“All those apples were from you, weren’t they?” Again I nodded.
“When I get these bandages off,” she said, “I am going to give you a great a big hug.”

I was filled with happiness. She was not mad at me.

“And I’ll tell you a great big secret, too, Paul,” she continued. “When I am married, if I have a son, I would like him to grow up just like you.”

I wasn’t certain that I saw a tear in her eye as Mother led me out of the room.


送给卞老师的一束花(节选)

保罗·维拉德

卞老师是世界上最亲切可爱、美得出奇的人。她是我二年级的老师,我长大了一定要娶她——只要她肯等我。我常常一整个晚上午都憋在座位上扭来扭去,就是不举手。有她在教室,一时一刻都很宝贵,我舍不得出去。

但是,老师如果问谁愿意擦黑板,谁愿意收卷子交到讲台上,我总是头一个举手。这可是最美的差事了。可以撇开班上的同学,接近她,我会把卷子理了又理,放得齐齐整整,才依依不舍地回到座位上去。

开学不久,我就缠着我妈要她在我午饭里多放一个苹果或者桃子。我一直没敢说这是给老师的,也一直不敢当面送给卞老师。每天都有好吃的东西偷偷放在讲台上。她每天的反应也都一样。

卞老师走进教室,坐下。“小朋友早!”

“卞老师早!”全班齐声回答。

“哈,真好!”她拿起当天的礼物,四下看看,“是哪个体贴人的小朋友送我的?”

谁也没争这份功,我就更甭说了。我低着头,两眼盯着书桌。

她会问:“是不是有人喜欢我,又不肯说?”

我都觉得出脸发红了。我肯定大伙都在盯着我,只见老师把水果放在一边,开始讲课,我这才松了口气。

一个秋天的上午,全班闹腾起来了。原来有人发现,第二天星期五,是卞老师的生日。谁都想送件礼物给她。我的心都要蹦了出来:终于可以大大方方送她东西了。那天下午,我一直在田野里搜寻野花。那个季节开花的不多见了,不过我还是在灌木丛里找到了好几种鲜艳的浆果,摘到些干枯的蓟花头。后来我还看到有一小块地里,好一片鲜红的红叶……

第二天早晨,大家都纷纷献礼,我拖到最后才走上讲台,把一束花送给了老师。她接过花,高兴得叫了起来,又捧在脸上好个亲。她对我报以一笑,还拍了拍我的头。

接下去那个星期一,卞老师没来上课。上午过了半晌,我给叫到校长室去。我一进去,想不到我妈也在。桌上还放着我那束花。

“你知道卞老师今天去哪儿了?”校长问。

“报告,不知道。”我回答。

校长的话说得又慢又清楚:“卞老师在医院里——是你害了她!”

我坐在椅子上,吓坏了。

“你知道你送她什么啦?”他又问。

“小家伙,那些‘挺好看的红叶’就是毒葛!”(毒葛是一种苏模叶,可触发严重的皮疹。)他越说越生气,“你摘的时候是怎么保护自己的?戴手套了?”

我摇摇头、“真的,我不知道是毒葛。”我哭了起来。

校长站起身。“保罗,我罚你停学十天。十天后复学,以观后效。”

……

我回到家里,我妈正坐在摇椅上。她伸开双臂,把我搂在怀里摇了一阵。“咱们来乐和乐和!”她最后问了我一声,“你最想做什么?”

“我就想去看卞老师。”我回答。

我们去了,卞老师坐在病床上。她脸上缠满了绷带,只露出一只眼睛,两只手也裹着绷带。

“我不知道那是毒葛,”我脱口说了出来,“我不是有意伤害你。我就想送您一点……”我说不下去了,强憋住不哭。

卞老师那只眼打量着我。“你想送我一点特别的东西,对吧,保罗?”我点点头。

“那些苹果也都是你送的,对吧?”我又点点头。

“等我拆掉绷带,”她说,“我要好好地拥抱你。”

我也快活啊。她没生我的气啊。

“保罗,我还要告诉你一个天大的秘密,”她接着说,“等我结了婚,要是有个儿子,我就要他长大了跟你一个样。”

我妈领我走出病房的时候,我仿佛看到卞老师的那只眼里正闪着泪花。



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